We look at current conditions in the district’s labor markets and trends affecting its workers, as well as topics related to healthy labor markets, such as workforce development and education.
The Decline in Access to Jobs and the location of Employment Growth in US Metro Areas: Implications for Economic Opportunity and Mobility
Increasing workers’ access to jobs has been found to significantly decrease the duration of joblessness among lower-income unemployed workers. Policies that influence the location of employment growth within a metro area could impact the pace of the labor market recovery from the COVID-19-induced recession. By studying trends in job access, we discern developments that might inform our policy choices. Read More
With economic conditions changing so rapidly during the COVID-19 pandemic, the standard layoff indicators that policymakers and analysts use are falling short. Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act data—a more timely indicator—reveal four findings about job loss during this pandemic. Read More
We use WARN data to assess layoffs in four Midwestern states during the current pandemic-induced recession—Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. The data come from the advance layoff notices filed under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act. We find that the number of workers affected by layoff announcements rose sharply in the second half of March and April, and unexpected changes in economic conditions meant that workers received little advance notice before layoff. Layoff announcements have affected workers across these four states, and workers in mining and leisure and hospitality have been affected the most. Most recently, the number of workers affected by WARN notices has almost returned to prerecession levels. Read More
We estimate trend unemployment rates for Ohio, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, and West Virginia, states that span parts of the Fourth District of the Federal Reserve System. Our estimated unemployment rate trend for the District as a whole stood at 5.7 percent in 2020:Q1 compared to a 4.7 percent observed unemployment rate within the District, implying a tight labor market by historical standards. Read More
Skills Are Bridges Not Gaps: A Skills-Based Approach for Transitioning Workers to Higher-Paying Occupations
Skills-based hiring practices—those that prioritize skills necessary to succeed in a role over formal educational credentials—show potential for securing higher positions for lower-wage workers and helping employers get the workers they need. Read More